From Childhood Dreams to Community Delights: Marckus Williams and Michael McFarland Bring Indy Fresh Market to Life in Arlington Woods
Marckus Williams and Michael McFarland, both residents of the vibrant Arlington Woods neighborhood in Indianapolis, share a special connection to the future site of Indy Fresh Market. Having grown up in this community, they spent their childhood playing on the very grounds that will soon be home to this exciting venture. As lifelong best friends, Marckus and Michael cultivated an entrepreneurial spirit from an early age, eagerly taking on various odd jobs in and around the neighborhood. Their unwavering dedication and commitment to their community served as a catalyst for their vision of establishing a place that would provide exceptional grocery shopping experiences for their fellow residents.
“Feeding low access and low income citizens is a passion of mine….” said Marckus Williams in a recent interview. “As a Veteran of Foreign Wars, I have seen hunger and insecurity in many forms, and I will no longer be on the sidelines…especially in my neighborhood…” added Michael McFarland. The plans are to carry this concept to other parts of the city.
From Humble Beginnings to Community Hub:
The Inspiring Journey of Wall Street Market
In 2019, Marckus Williams and Michael McFarland reunited with a shared vision and opened Wall Street Market, a modest store located just a stone’s throw away from Indy Fresh Market. Despite limited resources, they poured their heart and soul into the venture, dedicating long hours to transforming the store from a humble space to a thriving business. To fill the shelves, they even took on additional work by washing and detailing cars on the side of the building. Throughout their journey, they encountered valuable lessons and forged strategic partnerships, including collaborations with the City of Indianapolis and Joe The Grocer. These alliances played a pivotal role in the store’s success, enabling it to flourish and establish itself as a cherished community hub.
A Vision Realized:
Indy Fresh Market Emerges from a Serendipitous Collaboration
In the autumn of 2020, Cook Medical, led by CEO Pete Yonkman, reached out to Joe The Grocer regarding available space at the intersection of 38th and Sheridan that held potential for a grocery store. Cook Medical and their partner, Goodwill Industries, were in the process of constructing a medical device facility in the area. After careful analysis, it was determined that the site was indeed suitable for a grocery store. In light of this discovery, Pete approached Joe to inquire about any operators who might be interested in owning and operating the store. Joe had the perfect candidate in mind, and thus, Indy Fresh Market was born!
Uniting for a Brighter Future:
The Birth of an Empowering Community Grocery Store
A remarkable three-year journey has culminated in a transformative outcome as a result of the collaborative efforts of Cook, Goodwill, Central Indiana Community Foundation, the City of Indianapolis, Joe, and numerous other contributors. This synergistic partnership has resulted in the creation of a premier grocery store that will cater to the East Side of Indianapolis and extend its services beyond. With a steadfast commitment to tackling food insecurity, fostering neighborhood ownership, and providing access to affordable, nutritious food, the team has successfully established a model that will positively impact the community and address its needs.